Why doesn’t Mason Prep have a high school? We hear that question frequently, and the answer is that just as we are a small school by design, we are also a K-8 school by design. These years are a critical time in a child’s intellectual, social, and emotional development. We believe that the K-8 educational model is the best for our students, helping them to be confident life-long learners who are ready for the challenges of high school and beyond.
The K-8 model provides a safe and nurturing environment.
• A smaller environment means students are known and nurtured as individuals – both academically and socially – creating more confident and self-assured students.
• Students feel comfortable challenging themselves, learning new things, and taking risks. They can learn how to fail and pick themselves up in a supportive atmosphere where their teachers are there to help and guide them.
• Students develop self-awareness and an understanding of how they learn best.Students develop leadership skills.
• All students have leadership opportunities – these are not reserved for the high schoolers. Each grade at Mason Prep elects two representatives to our City Council
, which spearheads school activities and service projects throughout the year.
• Instead of being lost in the middle between elementary and high school, seventh and eighth graders serve as role models for the younger students. They are given the responsibility of acting as school leaders, and they rise to the expectation. At Mason Prep, our older students connect with younger students through our pen pal
and math buddy programs.
"What I like best about our K-8 model is the positive interactions between the big kids and the little kids. Relationships are developed through formal programs like math buddies and informal homework help and play at extended day. They are one another's biggest fans, and it is so heartwarming to see teenagers being so sweet and caring with the little ones.” - Meghan James, 7th and 8th grade math teacher
Students are free to stay children for longer.
• Without the influences of a high school, there is less pressure to grow up too fast.
• Students can have fun, be silly, and enjoy age appropriate activities without feeling like they need to act older than they are.
“I like that we only go up through middle school. I am a big kid at heart, and we are able to do some fun and creative activities that middle schoolers aren’t 'too cool' to enjoy. They can enjoy the season of life they are in without any pressure from high school peers.”
– Hal Huser, 6th, 7th and 8th grade history teacherStudents are prepared and ready for future transitions.
• Students are ready to spread their wings as they prepare to move on to high school. With a strong academic and social foundation, they embrace the transition to high school as a new adventure.
• By eighth grade, each student knows his or her interests and learning style and can enjoy the process of discovering which high school
is a good match. Mason Prep’s Assistant Head of School, Katrina Bryan, helps navigate the high school choice process, meeting with students and parents to help decide the best place for each student.
• When it comes time to make the transition from high school to college, students feel more comfortable knowing they can go into a new environment, make friends, and be successful.
“By the time students leave Mason Prep, they have a better idea of what kind of environment they want in high school. Some are ready to spread their wings because they have had time to develop their leadership skills and self-advocacy here at Mason Prep. Others recognize that they like the advantages of a smaller setting like ours and can find the right match in a high school. Students develop their individual identities here, and then they are excited to move to the next level." - Meghan James
The focus is squarely on K-8 students.
• The faculty and staff and school resources are dedicated to K-8 students. High school sports, the college application process, and high school challenges do not take attention away from students in these formative K-8 years.
• Building a strong foundation of academics, character
, and leadership skills is paramount.
If you are looking for a school that is small enough for every student to be known, yet large enough to provide a wide variety of learning opportunities, Mason Prep provides that experience. Get in touch with us to learn more!